Unlicensed handyman fined for unsafe asbestos removal

An unlicensed Tamworth handyman who potentially exposed workers to deadly asbestos particles has been fined more than £1,000.

Daniel Hepple, aged 35, of no fixed abode, was ordered to pay £1,480 after he pleaded guilty to removing asbestos in an unsafe manner on Wednesday, January 11.

The sentencing, which was held at Cannock Magistrates’ Court, followed an earlier court case that took place on Thursday, December 15, when evidence was heard that Wetenhall Properties had instructed Hepple to remove asbestos insulation boards from some internal doors of its Lichfield offices at Energy House in Lombard Street.

Councillor Colin Greatorex, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Health, said:

“We brought this case to court because protecting health and safety in the work place is so important, and we take breaches in it very seriously.

It goes to show that everyone must take personal responsibility for their actions, even if carrying out instructions at work.”

Asbestos can be present within any premises built or refurbished before the year 2000.  Mr Greatorex added:

“As the asbestos insulation boards were removed in an unsafe manner by an unlicensed, inadequately trained person, the work would have resulted in asbestos fibres being released, potentially exposing people in the building to harmful particles in the air.”

Whenever asbestos containing materials are found in a non-domestic premises, there is a legal duty to manage it by identifying the location and condition of the asbestos, and only using properly trained and licensed contractors to remove it.